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Sports

PAL Ladies Interclub S’woods Masters edges closer to 3-peat

The Philippine Star

DAVAO, Philippines - – Manila Southwoods Masters took a step closer to completing a first-ever three-peat in the PAL Ladies Interclub as its junior crew matched Cebu Country Club’s 144-point output then gained two more points on a CCC penalty to pull away by 22 points in the third round at the Rancho Palos Verdes layout here yesterday.

Jungolfers Annika Cedo and sisters Miya and Missy Legaspi took over from starters Abby Arevalo, Lora Roberto and Kat Gonzalez and scored 50, 49 and 45, respectively, for that 144 as the Carmona, Cavite-based squad all but wrapped up another championship with a 446-point aggregate heading to the final round of the 72-hole event sponsored by Philippine Airlines.

Junia Gabasa, who shot a 48 in the first round but took a rest Thursday, matched par with 54 points but Louise Kaye Go slowed down with a 47 after a one-under 55-point card in the opener. With Stephanie Olea chipping in 43, Cebu CC also carded a 144 but the team was later penalized by two points after fourth player Hannah Wong, who didn’t count with a 36, holed out after a double bogey on No. 14.

With a 142, the Cebuanas totaled a 424 and fell by 22.

“I think my young girls did not yet deliver the games I expected of them. But that’s fine and I’m still glad we still have the lead going to the last round,” said Southwoods Masters skipper Beachie Abiera, who failed to count with a 44.

Unless Cebu CC comes up with a gem of a game, Southwoods could be on its way to a record three-peat after beating Del Monte twice – by 54 points, also here at Palos Verdes in the event’s revival in 2011, and by 23 points in Iloilo last year.

Despite the big deficit, Cebu CC refused to give up and vowed to fight up to the last hole.

“We will fight to the end. This tournament will prove beneficial to us, in terms of exposure, especially to the younger girls, who will be the players to watch next year,” said CCC general manager Jeric Hechanova.

But after three days, the Southwoods young guns, including Team ICTSI’s Arevalo, who paces the individual derby with a 106, stood out.

A down-to-the-wire finish looms in the Friendship Division as Davao City fought back with a second straight 104 for a 324 to close within four points off the Lady Eagles, who made a 98 for a 328. Alabang made a 101 to move up to third at 297 followed by Aguinaldo (124-287), Valley North (85-286), Villamor (71-266), Apo 2 (102-257) and Cebu Country Club (79-212).

The 16-year-old Cedo, a St. Paul College Pasig mainstay, struggled in the early going at the back, going five-over after seven holes. But she birdied Nos. 17 and 18 then made a slew of pars at the front before holing out with another bogey for a four-over card in medal play.

“I didn’t hit many fairways and my approach shots were inconsistent. But I will try to correct those mistakes tomorrow (today),” said Cedo.

Gabasa, the younger sister of former Philippine Amateur champion Irina, actually turned in a brilliant round of even par in stroke play but failed to draw the needed support from Go and Olea.

The Bright Academy Grade 6 student also failed to churn out the tournament’s second under-par round as she fumbled with a double bogey on No. 14 after missing the green twice and muffed a four-foot par putt on the 16th.

Alabang I also moved 18 holes away from re-claiming the Founders crown it won in 2011 but yielded to Cebu CC last year as it posted a huge 48-point lead on a 143 for a 403. Southwoods Legends struggled with 114 for a 355 while Valley South remained at third at 347 after a 120 followed by Tagaytay Highlands (126-314), Mactan (96-309) and Iloilo (94-276).

Apo I likewise built a 50-point lead over Rancho Palos Verdes as it made a 130 for a 385 with the host club settling for a 120 and a 335. Pueblo de Oro scored a 103 for a 293 while Victorias had a 98 for a 280 and Eagle Ridge totaled a 279 after a 103.

For details and updates, visit www.palladiesinterclub.com.

The event is backed by Airbus, San Miguel Brewery Inc., Purefoods, Magnolia Healthy Refreshments, Ginebra San Miguel, Magnolia Purewater, San Mig Coffee, Magnolia Ice Cream and San Mig Purefoods and supported by Merck Inc. Philippines and Diamond Hotel.

ABBY AREVALO

ALABANG I

APO I

BEACHIE ABIERA

BRIGHT ACADEMY GRADE

BUT I

CEBU

CEBU COUNTRY CLUB

CEDO

RANCHO PALOS VERDES

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